factor," Davidoff says, "but I think
"Where are we today?" Davidoff
that many, a vast majority of donors,
asks. "We're closing the 2002 Annual
make their decision [on how much to
.Campaign, and it's our largest cam-
give] based on need and responsibility,
and separate that from their stock
He says that 16,00G donors pledged
$37.25 million, which includes the
Others agree. Jodee Fishman Raines,
almost $7 million Israel Emergency
of the Jewish Fund, a $60
Fund. Almost half of the dollars (after
started with the
subtracting the emergency fund) goes
money from the 1997 sale of Sinai
to the Federation's 18 constituent
Hospital to the Detroit Medical
agencies, including day schools, health
Center, attends monthly meetings of
and human services and Jewish cultur-
the Council of Michigan
al groups. The remaining
Foundations. There, she
funds go to Israel and over-
meets with officials from
seas for Jewish needs, around
other major foundations in
the metropolitan Detroit
The pledged amount repre-
"Comparing the Jewish
over last year's campaign total
community to the broader
of $31.5 million.
community, I think we're
In addition, the Federation
really blessed to have such a
and Foundation closed its
giving community," she says.
year ending May 31, 2002,
Though that does not
having raised an additional
mean that fund recipients
$40 million in new endow-
here are having an easy time,
ment and capital funds,
she says, the Detroit metro
of the Jewish
Jewish community "is not
"Why in-the face of eco-
only charitable, but they
nomic difficulties is our com- Federation of
good knowledge of
munity rallying to break a
going on in their
record in campaign giving?"
their needs and
he asks. "That's the type of
they really care. So we tend
community we are."
to fare better than the general commu-
nity in times like this."
She adds that while the Jewish Fund
facing a $100,000 shortfall from
"Giving has never been about what's
year compared to last, other foun-
comfortable for the giver, but about
officers she meets with are talk-
helping the person in need," says
ing about "how horribly affected they
Rabbi Tamara Kolton of the
are, in the millions, with huge cut-
Birmingham Temple. "That's why it's
called giving, not taking."
Rabbi Elimelech Silberberg of the
Sara Tugman Bais Chabad Torah
Center says, "Giving is more signifi-
said, Raines, along with other
cant in tough times like these. Some
of Jewish agencies and founda-
believe that charity is for excess
tions, recognizes the hardship these
money, but true mitzvah charity or
cutbacks have on the most vulnerable
tzedakah is when_it hurts. These are
in the community.
definitely hard times, but we can also
Adds Davidoff, "Anywhere where
look at them as a challenge and an
scholarships and social service needs
opportunity to enhance ourselves and
are affecting families, the elderly or
make the world a better place."
employment, all issues get stretched in
This year, 1,000 Jewish Detroiters,
economic hard times." This June,
who have never given to Federation
Davidoff worked collectively with all
before, gave their first gift to the
Federation agencies to make a difficult
Annual Campaign, Davidoff says. But
decision. The agencies were allocated
he declined to say if the gifts of big
only a 1 percent, across-the-board
donors have dropped off or if addi-
increase in order for Federation to
tional smaller ones have become more
provide for Israel.
The effects of that decision already
"Every gift is important," he says.
have rippled through the agencies.
"We spend a lot of time cultivating all
"Things are already tough," says
levels of donations."
Mary Keane, Hebrew Free Loan exec-
He has found that Jewish giving is
utive director. "In the last year, our
not simply tied to the stock market.
"The impact of the economy is a
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